“Home Theatre,” an online photography project by Darian Volkova, a Russian ballet photographer.

“What an exciting time we’re living in, isn’t it? It is so challenging that I felt it was calling for a new, quite complex, and unusual experiment.

Theatre houses have been shut down for quite a while. Without access to the stage and rehearsal rooms, ballet dancers all over the world have been trying to keep fit without leaving their homes. Kitchens, bedrooms, rooms, corridors have replaced theatres. Your barre is your chair, and your best friends and coaches are your yoga mat and gymnastic elastic band.

Watching the artists in their social media, sympathizing with them and empathizing, I decided to make a series of experimental shootings with dancers in their “home theatres”.

In this project, ballerinas became not only the inspiration but the eyes and hands of the photographer. We were managing the filming process together. I would come up with the idea and the frame, and they embodied my ideas as models, but also captured them with their phone cameras.”

#StayAtHomeAndBallet

More info: Instagram

#1

Renata Shakirova Soloist With Mariinsky Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

I believe that it will soon be over, and we’ll be back to work. I keep training because it makes me feel light and full of energy to do some chores about the house or learn something new instead of merely chilling on the sofa.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Well, you should realize that if one door closes, another one opens. I didn’t use to have enough time to dabble in crafts (making diadems, beading, embroidery), and now I can make something nice. Also, my dog, Lucky, never lets me feel blue. It’s just one sweet bundle of joy and energy.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I have been thinking a lot about how to answer that one. I thought I’d do a lot of things, go to the beauty salon to have my nails done, I’ll have a massage – but after all, it all didn’t matter that much. The first thing I’ll do is go and see my parents. Nothing can replace a real hug. And of course, I’d love to get together with all my friends.

_renata_shakirova Report

Liam Walsh
Community Member
5 months ago

That tiny dog!

#2

Isabella Boylston Principal Dancer With American Ballet Theatre

What helps you stay fit? Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I do a ballet class on IG live with my friend James B Whiteside fellow ABT principal, called The Cindies Ballet Class. On Tuesday, I teach a variations class on my IG live. On top of that, I’ve been doing cross-training and putting on my sneakers to go do grand allegro in the park.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Thank goodness for Facetime! I'm naturally really social, so I love calling my friends every day. And it's been nice cooking and taking walks around Brooklyn with my husband.

The first thing you're going to do when the isolation is over?

Sit outside at a restaurant, eating pasta and drinking wine! And go back to the studio with my coach Irina Kolpakova when it’s safe for her to do so.

isabellaboylston Report

Liam Walsh
Community Member
5 months ago

Thought the plant was part of her hair-do! Oops.

Nurse Bambi
Community Member
5 months ago

Me too!! Lol

Load More Replies...
Nurse Bambi
Community Member
5 months ago

Ballet is not an easy thing to do. These dancers are very graceful and powerful. Beautiful photo.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Abashova Maria Prima-Ballerina With Eifman Ballet

What helps you stay fit? My children. I play with them, chase them, and run around with a ball. Meanwhile, I do a lot of bending down to pick up toys scattered about.

How not to lose your spirits or get bored when socially isolated?

I have kids! They never let me get bored no matter how hard I try! Especially now that distance learning is in the picture.

The first thing you're going to do when the isolation is over?

I'll go to work, then to a beauty parlor to get my nails done, then to the theater, then to the museum, to the restaurant and back home again.

abashova_maria Report

#4

Alena Kovaleva Soloist From Bolshoi Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

Like all the ballet dancers, I am used to the daily rehearsals and class. My body is missing the feeling of being exhausted, but well toned. So I am trying to do the everyday class at home. Starting with the barre, then moving to the middle and the little jumps and remembering the pieces of the variations, which I can rehearse at home in the pointe shoes. Now there’s also plenty of time to work on your weak sides, improve them with the particular exercises.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

First of all, you have to accept the situation and stop to regret. The best we could do now - is to be patient and stay at home. I am always trying to look at everything with the positive. Unlike our usual life, now we have lots of time to be alone with ourselves, to live without the rush: to read books, watch some movies, come back to an old hobby, take an online course. there are lots of things to do at home.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I'm going to meet my friends! I will come so close and hug them! Because it will be easy and safe again. Then I will run to the theater! I can’t wait to spend my hours again in the beloved studios rehearsing and working hard with my teacher. And then I’ll take a long walk around Moscow, through all my favorite places. It’s going to be a late spring, my favorite time of the year in this city!

_kovalenka_ Report

#5

Victoria Tereshkina, Prima Ballerina With Mariinsky Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

They say if you don’t have bathroom scales in your house, it means you have something to hide from them. My scales and a mirror motivate me. Of course, my grandmothers would always say, Oh, dear Vika, you’ve lost so much weight – while quite the opposite is true. Obviously, without a real professional load, the shape can be lost quickly, so I’ve been trying to do something to keep fit. I’ve been training at the barre which my husband has installed for me during this quarantine.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

The first two weeks were incredibly difficult. It was as if we all had been put in cages. In a while, I had to address domestic chores that had accumulated. Also, we have a daughter who needs a lot of attention. Her teachers gave a lot of tasks to do together with the parents, some drawings, poems, songs, and dances. It’s not easy to accomplish when your child sees you as a mother and not as a teacher. Last but not least, I’ve finally found some time to tidy up the wardrobe and all cabinets.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

At first, I won’t believe my ears, is it really over? I’ll smile and take a deep breath. With great joy, I will go to work, and I will enter my favorite dressing room. I will be looking forward to the moment I get on stage again. I will be savoring every moment of freedom!

tereshkinavv Report

#6

Anna Okuneva Soloist With Stanislavsky Theatre

What helps you stay fit? I

’m not sure I’ve done an excellent job trying to stay in shape, it's hard to tell by only looking at yourself at home. Anyway, I try and do something every day by doing ballet class, Pilates, strengthening my muscles – or cooking, cleaning, moving the furniture around.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Why is it so bad to feel sad or bored? I don’t reprimand myself for being sad because, for me, it’s a state of mind that allows me to broaden my emotional spectrum. Next time I’ll be more grateful for the smallest nice things. Never suppress any kind of feelings in yourself. We are humans, not robots. It’s important to remember it while socially isolated.

The first thing you're going to do when the isolation is over?

Oh, I don’t know. We’ll see because I don’t like making plans. Perhaps I’ll just go outside and breathe some fresh air, the smell of freedom.

call_me_perch Report

#7

Maria Khoreva Soloist With Mariinsky

What helps you stay fit?

Even though I would've wanted to, I can't reveal any new information to you. Everything stays the same: working out till you "can't do it anymore" and pushing a few more after that. Luckily I have a barre at home and a tiny piece of ballet floor, which don't give me a chance to sit back.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Continue working. Not only physically but also thinking up new projects, new topics. Now we're restricted in our offline life, but nothing can stop us from working in an online world! Now I'm experimenting with different ways of virtual interaction using different platforms - Instagram, YouTube, Skype. It's so weird, but yet again, I don't have enough time in the day to do everything I've planned...

The first thing you're going to do when the isolation is over?

I'd dance Diamonds and Nikiya, Aurora and Raymonda, Masha, Medora, Paquita- the continuation of this list will be enough for many more years of work at the Theatre. And I dream of getting to know each of them very well!

marachok Report

#8

Elisabeth Beyer Student At American Ballet Studio

What helps you stay fit?

I try to stay fit by doing lots of strength and conditioning, cardio, and zoom ballet classes!

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

To not lose hope when socially isolated, I focus on the things I am thankful for. I am so grateful to have a wonderful family and home. I’m also grateful my body is healthy so I can continue to dance at home and spend some time working on my weaknesses. Staying in touch with friends is super helpful as well!

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

When the isolation is over, the first thing I would like to do is go to the studio and eventually perform onstage! I’m also really looking forward to seeing my friends and going to my favorite coffee shops!

ibsiesballerina Report

#9

Stanislava Postnova From Bolshoi Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

My willingness to be better, my faith that my stage comeback is near, and, of course, my sauna pants!⠀

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

My essentials: have a good plan for the day and stick to the schedule. I’ve been trying to get to some creative projects I didn’t use to have time for. To be honest, I have absolutely no time to be bored.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I keep imagining my going back to the theater. I’ll hug my friends, and we’ll have a delicious meal in a restaurant! And a manicure, of course.

ruby.tear Report

Parker Calyx Everett
Community Member
5 months ago

I love that I’m the first one here

#10

Anna Sharovieva Ballet Dancer From Mikhailovskyi Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

To be honest, I don’t workout at home. I think this quarantine is a perfect time to reboot and slow down a little and then resume dancing with more thought and vigor.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

My husband and I play lighting-sword fighting! Going back to your childhood is great entertainment. Remember, when you were a kid, you didn’t even know the word “bored”? The most important thing, though, is to remember that being unproductive while isolated is perfectly normal!

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I don’t have anything in particular in mind. I guess I’ll be back to my routine but try and make each step more conscious and alive.

an_shar Report

#11

Anna Ol Prima Ballerina With Het National Ballet

What helps you stay fit?

I’ve been trying to do at least 3 hours of training every day and keep doing cardio. I run up and down the staircase, 20 floors of steps, repeat twice. I know it’s not enough to be in perfect shape, but at least I’m doing my best.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Oh, for me, it’s effortless because I’ve always been a curious one. Now is the time for new projects. I’ve been working on launching an online ballet school for people who like to do ballet, but now they are forced to put their classes on hold.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I want to have a massage! At least 2-hour-long!

anna.ol_ballet Report

#12

Eleonora Sevenard Soloist With Bolshoi Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

Of course, it’s impossible to keep the perfect shape because one needs to regularly go on and rehearse in order to do so. To keep my average shape, I do a ballet barre (now I have one at home). I do my best to train every day. I put on my pointe shoes to keep my feet toned well; I do stretching and power-building exercises.

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

Oh, I always have something to do. If you miss your family and friends, you can have an online conference. You can watch a film or a TV series you’ve always been meaning to see. There are books and games – anyway, there’re plenty of things to keep yourself occupied. It would have been much harder to stay at home some hundred years ago.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I should think that all ballet dancers would be willing to get themselves back in shape as soon as they can, to get back on stage. I definitely won’t have seen my nearest and dearest for a while by then, so it would be great to get together without any restrictions.

elya_7ard Report

#13

Alisa Petrenko Ballet Dancer From Mariinsky Theatre

What helps you stay fit?

I teach three online ballet classes of 90-120 minutes every day. My students keep me in shape!

How not to lose your spirits when socially isolated?

I don’t have time to get bored. Each day I keep struggling with Zoom and poor Internet connection in the country.

The first thing you’re going to do when the isolation is over?

I’ll dash to see my friends, and then I’ll go and teach a real ballet class in a studio!

alisonalisa Report